You may be aware that businesses aggregate tremendous amounts of data in order to determine their best avenues of marketing. After you buy an item at an online store, you’ll see ads for related items when you visit other websites or do searches online. While many decry this use of our searching and buying habits as an invasion of privacy, some are trying to see if financial data can be used to identify signs of dementia in the elderly.

A Medical Use for Big Data

As difficult as living with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia can be, it can be equally as difficult to diagnose the disease. There’s no set blood test or imaging scan result that conclusively indicates Alzheimer’s. It requires a more complicated test administered by a knowledgeable physician to definitely determine sufficiently impaired cognition to make such a diagnosis.

A recent study uses the financial decisions of the elderly to provide insights into cognitive impairment of the type associated with dementia. It utilized a group of nearly 9,000 households with about a third of them having a member with Alzheimer’s or related dementia. They then worked backward from this group in which dementia had already been diagnosed to examine their financial decisions to see if there were earlier behavioral clues to the problem.

Results of the Study

The researchers found “robust evidence that early-stage Alzheimer’s places households at significant risk for large adverse changes in liquid assets.” This conclusion was reached after comparing those households with a dementia sufferer to those without. The effects were found to be even worse when the one with dementia was the financial head of the household.

How to Care For an Alzheimer’s Sufferer

While it’s certainly admirable that financial data can be used to help spot early behavior of cognitive impairment, there’s still the question of what to do when you find out an elderly loved one is no longer able to take care of themselves.

At Home to Stay Health Care Solutions, we are a non-medical home care company based in Southern New Jersey. If your parent or other elderly loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, we are the only home care company based in the Cherry Hill area that is a certified provider of the AlzBetter method of care for seniors. This program entails treating them with the respect they deserve while also planning days for them that are filled with meaning and purpose. Our skilled and compassionate staff monitor the progress of the illness and adapt activities to keep them interesting but not too challenging.

Comprehensive Elderly Care in Southern New Jersey

We also provide comprehensive home care services for the elderly or disabled who cannot do certain tasks for themselves anymore. This may include light housecleaning, laundry, meal preparation and rides to doctor’s appointments. We also provide personal services such as help with bathing, dressing and moving them between their bed and chair or wheelchair. If you have an elderly loved one, whether suffering from dementia or simply too old and frail to care for themselves anymore, please contact us at your earliest convenience. We’ll let you know what we can do to help them live their twilight years in dignity and comfort.

Andrew Dubler

Leave a Comment